Head to Menorca and fill your boots with cheese, wine, sobrasada & GIN! A gorgeous, chilled out and very under rated island, Menorca was one of my favourite places to visit this year. Here is your guide for the best of the artisan products. There are also links here to my Menorca Eating & Drinking Guide and the best Sunday lunch on the island (lobster soup, as you are asking!).
Menorcans claim mayonnaise. The French don’t agree, but Menorcans say that mayonnaise originated in Mahón and was taken to France where it was popularised after the French victory over the British in Menorca in 1756. The sauce was salsa mayonesa in Spanish, later becoming mayonnaise when the French embraced it. Who could blame each side for declaring they are responsible for the origin? I adore the gorgeous emulsion of egg yolk and oil. A bold claim from a small island like Menorca and an insight to their proud culinary heritage.
Menorca is still steeped in salsa mayonesa, which they make fresh and serve with many dishes. There is also Mahón cheese (a cows milk cheese which has a PDO, which means the origin and method of production are protected), Menorcan sobrasada (wonderful spreadable gently spiced pork sausage), Menorcan gin and a growing wine industry. Menorca is small enough to whizz around and experience all of it in a couple of days.
From November to March it is possible to do a tour of Binifadet with a wine tasting, and a tasting of their other products including jams and goats cheese marinaded in red wine. 9 wines are made here, I recommend the sparkling white which is 100% chardonnay and the white merluzo (a white wine made from merlot). The setting is beautiful and there is a restaurant there too, although I haven’t had time to eat there yet, I would try and fit in a meal on the terrace.
Raw cows milk is used to make the Mahón cheese at S’Arangí, each cheese is rubbed in olive oil and paprika, which gives it its distinct rust rind. Goats cheese is made here too, and terrific sobrasada. All of which are available to buy to take home. They can vac pack it for you too. A must.
Hort de Sant Patrici
Cheese and wine are on offer at this family run and it is possible to do a tour and tasting. Mahón cheese is made in the traditional manner (from cows milk), and three wines also (a rosé made from Syrah and 2 reds). There is a lovely family run hotel on site too (Ca Na Xini), in a blissful rural location.
A bakery that sells all of the Menorcan traditional delicacies, swing by here to try as much as possible, and don’t the ensaimada, particularly the sobrasada one. Take one home too, beautifully gift packaged.
Made from wine spirit, juniper and selected aromatics, gin was initially made in Menorca to satisfy the appetites of British soldiers and sailors stationed in Menorca in the 18th century. Gin has since become part of the cultural fabric of Menorca. Xoriguer is a family owned gin producer that distils gin in copper stills on the coast in Mahón. Traitionally, Menorcan men would start the day with a thimbleful of gin, called a ginlet. For aperitif it is popular to have a pomada, a drink made with local Xoriguer gin and cloudy lemonade. You can get this gin everywhere there, but a trip to the distillery and a tour is well worth it.
Related Menorca posts from Eat Like a Girl:
Where to Eat, Drink & Stay in Menorca
A Perfect Sunday Lunch: Caldereta de Langosta in Menorca at Es Cranc (Traditional Lobster Soup + a Recipe)
Related Menorca posts from the web:
I travelled to Menorca as part of a project between iAmbassador and Visit Menorca, who sponsored this project. As always, I’m free to write what I like and I do! Life is short etc. :)